MY GRANDPARENTS, all four of them, were born two centuries back, the late 1800s. Jeez, I must be old.
I came upon a genealogy website (geni.com) recently, so I searched for my father, and there he was with links to his parents and other kinfolk. There are even photos of the headstones of my grandfather and father.
I didn’t know my father has a headstone.
I then switched to my mother’s side, and there are my maternal grandparents with names of their parents and siblings, names I did not know.
The website knows more about my relatives than I do. For instance, my maternal grandmother’s mother — that would be my great-grandmother — was Georgianne Zillytholan Virginia Courtoy. There are no typos in that.
We are Southerners, obviously.
My mother’s name was Virginia, so now I know where that came from, her own grandmother.
Family trees have limbs, and I’m hanging out on the tip of ours. There is only one fruit that hangs out farther, my daughter, my only child. She’s the last apple.
My mother was an only child. My father had just one sister, a lesbian who never reproduced. I have only one sister too, a lesbian who never reproduced — what’s going on here? My daughter is in her early 50s and has no children.
We’ve reached the end of the limb. This is probably a good thing, considering how nuts and conflictive we are.
But it was fun seeing my limb of the family tree. Perhaps the best part was learning that my great-grandmother was named Georgianne Zillytholan Virginia Courtoy.
I wonder what she was like. I’ll never know.